Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Cardiff City: Soldado gives Spurs the breakthrough

Mike Hewitt

Tottenham Hotspur gained a win over Cardiff City to put themselves within sight of the Champions League spots, courtesy of a goal from Roberto Soldado.

Tottenham Hotspur moved to just six points behind Arsenal and left Cardiff City in further trouble as Roberto Soldado gave them a narrow win over Cardiff City.

In a tight and uneventful game, Soldado scored from open play to shrug off some of the criticism that has come his way since his big-money move, scoring the decisive goal midway through the first half.

Spurs got off to a quick start and Soldado showed a glimpse of the danger he posed early on when he attempted to turn Aaron Lennon's cross toward goal, but only found the side-netting.

Cardiff were offering plenty of effort, but could not quite force a chance, and paid the price when they suffered a deadly counter-attack at the hands of Tottenham, with fine play from Andros Townsend and Emmanuel Adebayor, setting up Soldado to force the ball past David Marshall and score a rare goal from open play.

Cardiff almost leveled immediately however, through a former Spurs player. Steven Caulker had a free header from close range but the defender could only hit the crossbar with his effort. Declan John then also had a fine effort as he forced his way in from the flank toward the near post, but the angle was too tight for him to get the better of Hugo Lloris.

Spurs continued to look solid after half-time and had a contentious penalty appeal ruled as a free-kick after John brought down Aaron Lennon, but the set-piece came to nothing.

Cardiff were not threatening, but the game was getting flat and Spurs were not particularly looking likely to gain a two-goal cushion either -- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacted by hurling on Mats Daehli, Jordan Mutch and finally Kenwyne Jones as he searched for a breakthrough.

Unfortunately, no such thing could be found as Cardiff continued to lack creativity and drive. Spurs looked the likelier to get a second goal and really ought to have done when Harry Kane burst down the left channel to get a clear chance on goal, but his finish was tame and kept out without too much trouble by Marshall.

Cardiff's best chance actually came in the dying minutes as Jones headed on a long hoof, but Daehli and Medel could not quite get into enough space to get their shot away. Marshall charged up for a late corner as Cardiff desperately tried to fashion a late chance, but Spurs held off the assault to claim all three points.

Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Fryers, Lennon, Dembele, Paulinho (Sandro 73'), Townsend (Chadli 70'), Adebayor, Soldado

Goals: Soldado 28'

Cardiff: Marshall, Caulker, Turner, Medel, Campbell, Kim, Gunnarsson (Mutch 63'), Cala, Fabio (Jones 73'), Bellamy (Daehli 63'), John

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